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Six years on from The Lark Farm, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani found in
stage productions of the Roman prison inmates Rebibbia energy and the
urge to get back behind the camera and make a new film. They wrote and
directed and produced within the Roman prison facility and with the
same group of actors-prisoners.
Only apparently docudrama, but in reality almost entirely representation, Caesar must die tells the staging of "Julius Caesar" by Shakespeare, who are leaving very little overlap between the preparation of the play and the play itself, the express wish to amplify the most painful and intimate adhesion of the detainees to their characters and feelings they carry. The films of the Taviani can undoubtedly convey the strength and passion of surprising interpretations, and is able to find moments of clear staging with a charm that builds on the context, but transcends it. Unfortunately, however, is also weighed down by an idea of cinema out of date and time.
The intensity of black and white "Giulio Cesare" acted within the walls of prison, goes limp, in fact, when the Taviani brothers - who, caught between themselves and Bertold Brecht were unwilling or able to give up the script, or embrace moments of pure documentation - they feel heavy and intrusive outside their hand. When they try to break the scene with a background, however artificial and, therefore, artificial. The illusion of reality sought by directors does not take off then ever, and breaks the suspension of disbelief achieved in staging Shakespeare. Worse still surrounds the operation with a sort of condescending paternalism that file the roughness, the personalities, the possibilities.
Why show "faking" two prisoners who bicker "really", another unable to take part in the tests because they tried to interview, one imagines the arrival of women in the theater or another that says, reciting, that "by when he met the art cell has become a real prison, "is frankly disturbing and morally objectionable, because it becomes another cage that imprisons artistic protagonists.